Thankful Hump Day Blurb
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Happy Hump Day - and Happy Thanksgiving Eve!
I know, I know. You've been rapturously checking your social media feeds for my next posting, anxious to know: "What was the second cherry on the sundae that was last week?" Well your wait is over!
The second cherry (drum roll please....) was the smashing great time that was had by all at our little dinner party last Saturday. Ben's friend Mike (who hosts Friday night video golf) and his wife Jessica (who's responsible for Shiloh's blossoming) came over for dinner. We've lived in our little town for nearly two years, and Shiloh's been going to Jessica's daycare for at least three months. As I've gotten to know her through our brief daily interactions, I've come to like Jessica a great deal.
Since Ben has been going to their house on a regular basis for about three yeas, and Shiloh's been attending Jessica's daycare for several months, it dawned on me - they've never been over to our house. More specifically, we've never even invited them.
Ben and I don't have shared friends. He has his friends and I have mine; each have been to the house at different times. Super Mom and her husband were the only other "couple" we connected with and were in close proximity with. One of the many things of which I'm hyper-aware is that the both of us need our own space and friends. So I checked with him before inviting them over for dinner. He thought it was a great idea.
I inquired of Jessica if a meal in our shared company would be agreeable. (Those weren't my exact words). She said they'd be happy to hang out with us. Then I verbally dissected her dietary preferences in order to come up with the best menu. She was adamant about her very simple tastes and she wasn't the biggest fan that red meat has ever had. Great info - make something simple and special. The goat cheese stuffed chicken breasts I mention here popped to mind, "Do you like goat cheese."
"Have you ever tried it?"
"Would you be willing to try it?
Whew! I could take a risk. Time to figure out the side.
"Do you like rice or potatoes?"
"Which do you prefer?"
Fththhhththth... That was my mental librarian sifting through my meager catalog of recipes. The basic risotto I made as this chicken's accompaniment last time jumped out.
"Oh, I can make risotto!"
"Mike's wanted to make that. I thought we should see how to make it first."
"Great. I can show you when you come over."
Sweet! Not only was I cooking a meal for others, but was going to display a cooking technique!
Since my paranoia knows no bounds, I'd erected mental barricades in preparation for the possibility of a text or call informing me that something had come up and they'd have to take a rain check. My inner cardio kick-boxer did a flying jump-kick after seeing the actual text from Jessica: "What would you like us to bring?" I replied "Something appetizery - if you want."
Before heading to the store after work I texted Ben: "Cut up pita pockets so I can make pita chips". I stopped at Hannaford's to collect some ingredients then zipped on home. I had two hours to at least get the dessert prepped (it had to sit in the fridge for at least an hour before being baked), and make the chips and spinach/artichoke dip.
Next thing I knew, munchies and dessert were made, Shiloh had just been deposited into bed and Isaac directed to his room; then Jessica, Mike and their adorable infant, Olivia, were here. I was able to stuff my inner OCD-perfectionist into a closet when she started freaking out because all the pots and pans hadn't been cleaned and the counters weren't glistening to a high-shine. I set out the munchies on our awesome island. Jess and Mike said they weren't able to bring an appetizery-thing and thought alcohol would be a perfect substitute. They were right. I worked on the Apple-Thyme Martinis I was dying to make while Ben showed them the house. They came back to the kitchen - where all the action was - after we toasted "Cheers!", I put my sous-chef (Ben) to work.
The rest of the night was filled great camaraderie, many loud laughs and (much to my delight) enjoyment of the food. Because Shiloh was in bed, I even got to hold Olivia. (She turns into a little pit-bull if I show any interest whatsoever in someone younger than her.) I also discovered that my infant-thermometer hasn't completely disappeared because as I walked Olivia around the room to soothe her, she started Hoovering my shoulder. From that I discerned she was hungry; Jessica took her and fed her. Then she was silent.
The night was an early one. We retired to the living room and relaxed into comfier chairs, put on Midnight Run, which is supremely hysterical in two ways: 1.) It's just a foul-mouthed laugh riot; & 2.) The absurdity of 80's technology compared with today's. Also, if you've been pining for a reason to like Charles Grodin - your pining days are now over. Olivia snuggled down on Mike's chest and Ben pressed play. The males promptly found sleep within twenty minutes.
We jostled the males awake at about 10:20. Mike and Jess gathered up Olivia and her things then moseyed on home. Ben and I made a beeline for bed. After a face-scrubbing and teeth-brushing, I wrapped my flannel sheets and warm memories around me and succumbed to the call of sleep. I can't think of a more perfect evening.
Mike and Jess love the Pats as much as we do, and have a WAAAAAAAY better A/V set up - so hopefully we can do a Football Sunday with them. I already informed them we'd soon be inviting ourselves over with pita chips in tow. That didn't seem to bother them.
Tomorrow is America's official day to give thanks. I'm actually thankful for this day - since I am eternally grateful for my life, but don't always display this fact with the floodlight it deserves.
Thanks to all of you who are reading. I hope your Thanksgiving is what it should be.